Vol. 20, No. 7

Nov. 30, 2000

Roland Smith named director on MADD's national board

Roland M. Smith, vice president for student life at the University of Delaware, has been elected to serve on the National Board of Directors of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Smith is one of 25 members of MADD's National Board and will serve a three-year term with the grassroots organization that aims to stop drunk driving, support victims of violent crime and prevent underage drinking.

Smith has worked in the field of education for nearly 40 years. His academic career began in 1962 when he taught high school in Houston, after four years of service in the U.S. Army. For 14 years, Smith worked in various capacities at Carnegie-Mellon University. He served at the universities of Houston and Oklahoma before being named vice president for Student Life at UD. He has written several books and articles on subjects ranging from history to minority issues. Throughout his career, he has received numerous grants and fellowship awards.

Smith began working with MADD in 1999 as a member of its College Commission, a group created to study the issue of underage drinking on college campuses throughout the United States.

Among the commission's recommendation is the implementation of a College Honor Roll to recognize campuses that have strong alcohol prevention policies and programs. Other suggestions are to build student leadership, to support campus/community coalitions and to launch a grassroots campaign for enforcement of alcohol laws on college campuses.

Locally, Smith helped organize MADD's Delaware Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking and Alcohol-Related Issues held at UD in October.

"Roland Smith's day-to-day experience working with college students will be a tremendous asset to MADD as we work to tackle the problem of underage drinking on college campuses," Dean Wilkerson, MADD national executive director, said. "His work on our college commission demonstrates his commitment to our cause."

Alcohol-related traffic deaths have declined by more than 40 percent in the U.S. over the last two decades since MADD was formed in 1980. That year, alcohol was involved in 57 percent of highway deaths. Last year, alcohol-related crashes accounted for about 38 percent of total traffic deaths. Had drunk driving continued at the 1980 level over the past 20 years an estimated 183,000 more Americans might have died in car crashes, MADD statistics show.

Currently, MADD volunteers and corporate partners are promoting safe and sober driving throughout the holidays with public awareness campaigns.

Last year, 1,610 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

–Beth Thomas